YouTube has recently come under fire for how their system has allowed inappropriate videos to sneak in under the radar. A couple of weeks ago, it was noticed that disturbing videos designed to look like children’s videos managed to sneak onto YouTube Kids, and recently videos were discovered that showed children being abused.
Now it seems that according to The Guardian, it has been noticed that YouTube’s autocomplete search results are listing child abuse search terms. For example some have noticed that when typing “how to have” in the search box, they were shown autocomplete results such as “s*x with your kids”. The Guardian quotes experts to suggest that “s*x” helps to make it past YouTube’s filters which might be looking for the word “sex” instead.
That being said, YouTube has since responded swiftly following the discovery, and have removed those autocomplete results from their search. A statement provided by a YouTube spokeswoman reads, “Earlier today our teams were alerted to this profoundly disturbing autocomplete result and we worked to quickly remove it as soon as we were made aware. We are investigating this matter to determine what was behind the appearance of this autocompletion.”
To YouTube’s credit, the site has been taking active steps in trying to clamp down on such videos and also ways to circumvent its filters. For examples videos that are flagged as adult-only on the main YouTube site won’t show up in YouTube Kids, and so on.